You know how, when you start a new workout, or add something new to whatever you're already doing, and the next day you can feel it...you can feel those new muscles screaming in pain when you walk up the stairs, bend over, or even sit on the toilet...and even more when you try to stand up again?
But you know it's a good pain...you know you've just torn down the old muscle so you can build it up again, stronger than it was before, right? You knew when you started it you'd be sore - in fact, you hoped you'd be sore, so you knew you were doing something, achieving something, changing something.
That's how it is for me today, the morning after my screenplay was the one under the class spotlight. Microscope. Red ink. Knife.
Last week I was nervous about my turn getting closer. This week, I could hardly wait. Not because I thought I'd get a lot of complements or an ego boost. No, I knew better. I knew it would be ripped apart, and I looked forward to it.
I haven't even written anything new in over a week. I've been waiting for this feedback, so I could see what I was doing wrong, what I was doing right, and where I should head with it from here. That's how much I trust my classmates...respect their input and honesty. I know they're going to help me get better.
They didn't disappoint me. There were a few kudos thrown in, but mostly the critiques were blunt and to the point. It was tough to hear sometimes, but I knew it was for my own good. I've watched other classmates defend weak areas in their screenplays, so I bit my tongue when I felt myself preparing to do the same. I didn't want anyone to hold back!
If they had been softer on me, I would have been worried - it would mean they didn't take me seriously as a writer, or that they didn't have any hope of it being improved upon. Instead, I got specific, sometimes brutal, advice. And it felt GOOD!
Not everyone agreed - some of the conflicting advice I received I'll have to weigh out and decide for myself what works the best. But just having this chance to brainstorm on my script with people who know what they're talking about (yet who obviously still sometimes struggle with writing a script themselves or they wouldn't be in this class)...it's just an amazing experience.
Now...I need to get back to work.